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Pixelated Roses

Sam Prescott | 18 Dec 2011 14:00
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Visually speaking, some games age quite well (Shadow of the Colossus). They're like a fine wine, or Spam. Others show their age a little more harshly (Grand Theft Auto III), but when you're looking back over your shoulder and saying, "Hey, I remember you, 1080 Snowboarding!" what is it that you're likely to be recalling? Probably not the game's graphical prowess, even if it was pretty spiffy for its time.

Minish Cap doesn't have that new-Zelda-smell anymore, but everything that made it a cuddly, big-boned action adventure is still in there.

What's far more likely to impress you about any game is its intent. You're more likely to remember what that game was trying to say to you and how well it said it, rather than what color lipstick it had on. Purpose, fortunately for us, is not something that gets easily lost in the turbulent river of new releases. For example, now that my GBA is a ghost among the sands of time, I am finding great joy in going back to that system's games. Allowing The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap to sneak by without purchase back in 2005 turned out to be no big deal. With Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks having come and gone on the GBA's successor, Minish Cap doesn't have that new-Zelda-smell anymore, but everything that made it a cuddly, big-boned action adventure is still in there. What's most satisfying, however, is that there's plenty more where that came from.

If you're a gamer who suffers from FOMO, you'll know the cold sweat that comes on around Holiday time. It's not about expense. No, the reason you feel like you're being tortuously choked out is that there is a whole lot of new stuff on the market and you can't play it all.

You can't play it all.

Hey? You can't play it all.

It's okay to collapse and sob like this is Good Will Hunting.

In moving through our systems so quickly, many of us are watching our collections spiral out of control. The desire to try and play everything can also block us off from truly engaging with each individual experience. This in itself could be a fantastic argument for picking up systems at the tail end of their life, rather than when they're newly hatched. The announcement of the Wii U, for example, was like Nintendo bringing home a new puppy without giving Rover the dignity of chasing his last stick. On the flip side, it potentially also means that now could be a fantastic time to buy a Wii: There's over five years' worth of games available for it.

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